Wisconsin Certificate of Authority


What is a Wisconsin certificate of authority?

Companies are required to register with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions before doing business in Wisconsin. Businesses that are incorporated in another state will typically apply for a Wisconsin certificate of authority. Doing so registers the business as a foreign entity and eliminates the need to incorporate a new entity.

Operating without a certificate of authority may result in penalties or fines. In addition to the state’s requirements, licensing agencies, banks, and vendors will often request a certificate of authority.

When do I need a certificate of authority?

The most common reasons for applying for a certificate of authority include:

  • Opening an office or physical location within the foreign state
  • Hiring an employee who resides within the state
  • Before beginning a contract or a job in a new state
  • A vendor or bank’s requirements
  • Licensing authority requirements

How do I get a Wisconsin certificate of authority?

To obtain your Wisconsin Certificate of Authority, you will submit an Application for Certificate of Authority, along with required certificates or certified copies from your home state. You will need to appoint a registered agent in order for your filing to be approved. Be sure to follow the state’s instructions carefully, as they can reject a document for the smallest error.

For Foreign Corporations:

Agency:Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Corporation Section
Form:

Certificate of Authority Application and/or Amended Certificate

Agency Fee:

Depends on stock value, minimum of $100.

Law:

WI Stat § 180.1503

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Certificate of existence, certificate of good standing, or certificate of status, dated within 60 days.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Limited Liability Companies:

Agency:Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Corporation Section
Form:

Foreign Limited Liability Company Certificate of Registration Application

Agency Fee:

$100

Law:

WI Stat § 183.1004

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Good standing certificate not required.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Nonprofit Corporations:

Agency:Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Corporation Section
Form:

Certificate of Authority Application and/or Amended Certificate

Agency Fee:

$45

Law:

WI Stat § 181.1503

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Certificate of existence, certificate of good standing, or certificate of status, dated within 60 days.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Limited Partnerships:

Agency:Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Corporation Section
Form:

Foreign Limited Partnership Application

Agency Fee:

$75

Law:

WI Stat § 179.82

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Good standing certificate not required.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

For Foreign Limited Liability Partnerships:

Agency:Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Corporation Section
Form:

Foreign Limited Liability Partnership Registration Statement

Agency Fee:

$0

Law:

WI Stat § 178.1003

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not required.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

Good standing certificate not required.

Fact Checked:1/28/19

What do I need from my home state?

In order to obtain a Wisconsin Certificate of Authority, you must also submit:

  • Corporation: Certificate of existence, certificate of good standing, or certificate of status, dated within 60 days.
  • Nonprofit Corporation: Certificate of existence, certificate of good standing, or certificate of status, dated within 60 days.

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent receives service of process and government notices on behalf of your business. When you prepare your Wisconsin Certificate of Authority application, you must list a registered agent with a physical address within the state (P.O. Boxes are not allowed).

Many businesses do not have an individual or physical address in a new state. Listing our local registered agent address on your certificate of authority application meets the state’s requirements. Additionally, you get same day document scanning from our local office in all 50 states and DC. Our registered agent service is a flat rate of $99 per year, and you can easily add our service to any certificate of authority order.


What is the contact information for the state?

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Corporation Section
Corporations Bureau, Suite 300, PO Box 7846
Madison, WI 53707-7846
Phone: 608-261-7577
Fax: 608-267-6813
http://www.wdfi.org/corporations/

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